Health and Science

Chinese firm gets approval for potential coronavirus vaccine trials; euro zone downturn eases

Coronavirus cases surge in the United States, Brazil and Germany
Coronavirus cases surge in the United States, Brazil and Germany

Recent trends in Covid-19 data appear to show little signs of slowing, as a number of states continued to report a rise in new cases and hospitalizations. The World Health Organization reported record rises in several countries, and denied claims that increased testing is the sole driver behind higher case numbers. 

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team. 

  • Global cases: More than 9.0 million
  • Global deaths: At least 472,171
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.3 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 120,402

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

South Africa's president warns on forthcoming budget

11:00 a.m. London time: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that "difficult decisions and difficult days lie ahead" as the country tries to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

In an address to the nation Monday, Ramaphosa highlighted that businesses in all sectors had announced job cuts or total closures as a result of losses incurred since the nation implemented strict lockdown measures on March 26.

Aware of the economic toll being wreaked by the lockdowns, the government has begun lifting restrictions, but South Africa now has 101,590 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the most on the continent, with 1,991 deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. — Elliot Smith

Euro zone downturn eases significantly in June

09:30 a.m. London time: The downturn in the euro zone continued to ease in June, according to data from IHS Markit Tuesday, giving the latest indication of the region's economic health as it emerges from the pandemic.

Flash purchasing manager's index (PMI) data, that measures activity in both the services and manufacturing sector in the euro zone, came in at 47.5 in June, up from a final reading of 31.9 in May. The 50-point mark separates contraction from expansion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the flash June PMI to come in at 42.4.

The 15.6-point rise was by far the largest in the survey history with the exception of May's record increase, IHS Markit said. — Holly Ellyatt

Chinese firm gets approval to begin human testing for potential vaccine

1:05 p.m. (Singapore time) – China approved a vaccine candidate co-developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical – a business unit of the publicly listed Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products – and the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Reuters reported. The approval would allow the firm to begin clinical trials.

Chinese researchers and companies are testing six experimental shots in humans, and more than a dozen vaccines are in different stages of clinical trials globally, according to Reuters. – Saheli Roy Choudhury

New York City ER doctor says he hopes America learned from city's outbreak

This New York City emergency room doctor weighs in on the fight to treat coronavirus
This New York City emergency room doctor weighs in on the fight to treat coronavirus

6:48 p.m. ET — Dr. Craig Spencer, of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, told CNBC he hopes Americans learn from New York City's coronavirus outbreak.

"I think that people here remember how bad it was, really just a month, two months, ago and we don't want to go through that again," Spencer said on "Closing Bell," while referencing how many New Yorkers he saw wearing face coverings on the subway. 

"We're hoping that everyone around the country learns the lessons that we, unfortunately, had to learn the hard way," added Spencer, who survived Ebola in 2014 after contracting it while working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. —Kevin Stankiewicz

Trump to halt entry of certain foreign workers, opening up an estimated 525,000 jobs, official says

6:30 p.m. ET — President Donald Trump will suspend H-1B and other types of visas for certain foreign workers through the end of the year, a senior administration official said, according to Reuters.

The official said the move will open up 525,000 jobs for American workers, Reuters reported.

Major tech companies and other businesses oppose the move, arguing that the halt would stifle the economy as the U.S. recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the news service.

Trump's proclamation is not likely to have a large immediate effect, Reuters said, because many U.S. consulates remain closed for most routine visa processing. —Michelle Gao, Reuters

California sees rising case numbers

5:30 p.m. ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is still caught in the first wave of the coronavirus and that he expects cases to continue rising.

The state reported 46,735 coronavirus cases over the past 14 days, representing 36% of California's total cases.

"The positivity rate had been stable, but now it's going slightly up," Newsom said at a press briefing. Although more people are being tested in California, that doesn't provide the full explanation behind the rising case numbers, according to Newsom. He said the state is prepared to absorb further increases in positive cases in terms of providing hospital beds and care, and that he has mitigation strategies if the pandemic worsens in California.

Newsom also gave an update on the state's challenging jobs situation. He said California has distributed $34.3 billion since March 15 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. "That's not something the state has ever had to do in the past," he said. —Hannah Miller

Texas governor warns tougher actions will be required if cases, hospitalizations continue spiking

Diane, a nurse from Houston, Texas, sunbathes at the beach next to her husband, both wearing facemasks, in Miami Beach, Florida on June 16, 2020.
Eva Marie Uzcategui | AFP via Getty Images

5:05 p.m. ET — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that "additional measures are going to be necessary" and the state will have to take "tougher actions" if daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to climb at current rates into July.

On June 12, Abbott said that there's "no real need to ratchet back the reopening of businesses in the state." Texas has since reported days of record hospitalizations and daily increases in Covid-19 cases.

"If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we're in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required to make sure that we do contain the spread of Covid-19," he said.

As of Sunday, there's been a seven-day average of 2,913 people currently hospitalized in Texas with Covid-19, a 37% increase compared with a week ago, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. The state's seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases has increased more than 86% compared with a week ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Contact tracing 'will save lives' if the U.S. builds it

Dr. Daniel Kombert, medical director for the Care Logistics Center and the director for the Clinical Command Center, middle, works with other medical professionals as they answer calls and track data at the Hartford HealthCare COVID-19 Command Center in Newington, Conn., on March 10, 2020.
Kassi Jackson | Hartford Courant | Tribune News Service via Getty Images

4:30 p.m. ET — Contact tracing, in which trained health officials contact infected people to investigate the source of an outbreak and alert potentially exposed people, is one of the few proven tactics the U.S. has to combat the coronavirus.

In lieu of federal leadership, the effort has been largely relegated to often underfunded health departments that are struggling to meet the unprecedented demand placed on them by the coronavirus pandemic.

″[Contact tracing] is a standard tool and it really works, but when it's not in place, or in the case of when you start trying to implement it after the virus is quite literally already spreading in your community, it's almost impossible to catch up," said Dr. Karen Smith, former director of the California Department of Public Health.

Here's how various cities and counties are ramping up their contact tracing programs. —Will Feuer

San Francisco pushes for accelerated reopening

A pedestrian walks by a retail store that has reopened on June 16, 2020 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

4 p.m. ET — San Francisco officials have requested state approval to accelerate the city's reopening as soon as next weeks, Mayor London Breed announced.

Citing improvement of key health indicators such as daily new cases and hospital capacity, Breed said the city hopes to allow more businesses to reopen on June 29. She added that if the health indicators hold steady and the state approves the plans, zoos, outdoor swimming pools, outdoor bars, hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and museums will be allowed to reopen.

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said in a statement that cases of Covid-19 are expected to rise as the city moves deeper into reopening. "To keep that increase manageable and sustain our commitment to protecting the people most vulnerable to the virus, everyone in San Francisco must continue to take the precautions that save lives," he said. —Will Feuer

Consumers are more cautious about dining out than they were in April

3:45 p.m. ET — More consumers are eating restaurant meals, but a survey says one in three does not expect to be comfortable eating in a restaurant until next year. That compares to 20% in a similar Bank of America survey in April.

BofA surveyed 1,000 people on June 18. Just 48% of the respondents said they would go to a restaurant before Labor Day, down from 58% in April. About a quarter said they have no intentions of eating at a restaurant versus 8% or 9% who did not dine out before the virus-related state shutdowns. —Patti Domm

Los Angeles International trials fever-screening cameras

Passengers arrive at LAX from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, January 26, 2020.
Ringo Chiu | Reuters

3:20 p.m. ET — Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday will start trials of temperature-screening cameras, the latest effort by airports to weed out travelers who may have Covid-19.

The cameras will be set up in both departure and arrival areas at Tom Bradley International Terminal and the trials will be voluntary, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. Departing passengers will be told by staff that they should not travel if they register temperatures of over 100.4 degrees. Arriving travelers will be referred to staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if they register temperatures that high.

Airports and airlines are scrambling to come up with ways to root out potential cases of Covid-19 and ease travelers fears about flying during the pandemic, which has sent demand down to the lowest levels in more than five decades. Air travel demand has rebounded from lows hit in April, it's still off around 80% from a year ago. —Leslie Josephs

Apple announces hand-washing feature in new iOS

2:47 p.m. ET — Apple introduced features to encourage mask-wearing and hand-washing as part of its latest software for iPhones, Watches and other gadgets.

The company at its Worldwide Developers Conference introduced a new feature for Apple Watch to help guide people to wash their hands, and its popular memoji can now be updated to include a cloth covering.

The hand-washing follows Samsung's lead, and it works by providing a countdown timer to make sure that users are scrubbing their hands for at least 20 seconds. —Christina Farr

WHO says global case uptick not a 'testing phenomenon'

2:09 p.m. ET — While some countries are testing more, it is not the sole reason reported coronavirus cases are reaching record numbers, the World Health Organization said, adding hospitalizations and deaths are rising as well.

"We do not believe that this is a testing phenomenon," said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program. "There definitely is a shift in the sense that the virus is now very well established on a global level," he added.

In recent weeks in the U.S., some state and federal leaders have downplayed the recent rise in cases and hospitalizations, tying it to an increase in testing. On Saturday, President Donald Trump said he asked officials to "slow the testing down," reiterating his claims that more testing was the reason the U.S. has the most cases in the world. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

World Health Organization: Record number of coronavirus cases isn't just a result of more testing
World Health Organization: Record number of coronavirus cases isn't just a result of more testing

2021 Golden Globes postponed

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, winner of Best Performance By An Actress In a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, poses in the press room during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Daniele Venturelli | WireImage

1:30 p.m. ET —The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has postponed the 2021 Golden Globes ceremony amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The event will now take place Feb. 28, 2021.

Actors Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are still slated to host the event, which will air live on NBC. The HFPA said it will provide further details about eligibility, voting and nomination announcements in the coming weeks.

The Academy Awards, the Creative Arts Emmys and the Tony Awards have also been affected by Covid-19. The Primetime Emmys are still slated to take place Sept. 20, but the Television Academy is still trying to determine how to host the event safely. —Sarah Whitten

Google's U.S. ad revenue will drop for the first time ever, as the pandemic delivers blow to businesses

12:55 p.m. ET — Google's U.S. advertising revenue will see its first-ever decline this year, according to research firm eMarketer, which began modeling the business in 2008.

The new report shows the extent to which even Google's robust digital ad business has likely suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken an especially hard toll on some of the platform's biggest advertisers in the travel industry. While advertising on YouTube is expected to grow, it won't make up for Google's expected 7.2% drop in net U.S. search ad revenue this year, according to eMarketer.

The model also signals that Google's digital advertising rivals may be able to close in on the company's No. 1 spot in share of digital ad spend in the U.S. Both Facebook and Amazon are expected to continue growing their U.S. advertising revenue this year, though at slower rates than in previous years.

Facebook and Amazon's ad businesses have less exposure to the travel industry than Google, which could help them weather the crisis. —Lauren Feiner

Disneyland Paris will reopen on July 15

Disney character Mickey Mouse is seen above the entrance at Disneyland Paris during the 25th anniversary of the park, in Marne-la-Vallee, near Paris, France.
Benoit Tessier | Reuters

12:30 p.m. ET — Disney's Paris-based theme park will reopen July 15, the company said. The park will limit attendance, increase cleaning and require social distancing and face coverings.

The company said that more than 2,000 sanitizing and hand-washing stations will be available throughout Disneyland Paris on opening day. Cast members will also undergo new health and safety training prior to the parks reopening and will encourage guests to social distance and use contactless payments when possible.

Single rider and Fast Pass services will temporarily be suspended on attractions and traditional meet-and-greets will not be available. Guests will see characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel around the park and will be able to take photos with them. However, close interactions, including hugs, are temporarily suspended. —Sarah Whitten

Hospitalizations grow in Arizona, Texas as cases continue to increase across the U.S.

11:46 a.m. ET — As of Sunday, the nation's seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases increased more than 24% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. Cases are growing by 5% or more in 25 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma.

According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, hospitalizations from Covid-19 were growing in 14 states as of Sunday.

In Texas, there have been 2,913 people currently hospitalized with Covid-19 based on a seven-day moving average, a 37% increase compared to a week ago. Arizona reported 1,702 people currently hospitalized on a seven-day average, a near 29% increase compared to a week ago. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Trump economic advisor Kudlow says a second wave 'isn't coming'

Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 15, 2020.
Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

10:56 a.m. ET — President Donald Trump's chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, said a second wave of the coronavirus "isn't coming" and he characterized reports of new cases in a handful of U.S. states as isolated hot spots.

Kudlow's remarks to CNBC came after the U.S. reported more than 30,000 new infections on Friday and Saturday, the highest daily totals since May 1. Peter Navarro, one of Trump's top trade advisors, said Sunday that the White House is, in fact, preparing for another wave of the disease.

Kudlow also said Monday that House, Senate and White House leaders will likely have another economic stimulus package in the weeks following Congress's July recess. —Thomas Franck

Existing home sales plummet in May from coronavirus effect

10:52 a.m. ET — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to make an impact on the economy, existing home sales dropped 9.7% in May from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.91 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Annually, sales are down 26.6%, the largest annual decline since 1982, CNBC's Diana Olick reports. But realtors believe this could likely be the bottom point for home sales as the economy recovers.

"Well into the month of June, I think people are much more relaxed, knowing that there is a massive stimulus package in the economy," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. "I am very confident that this will be the cyclical low point. Buyers are coming back and listings are coming back." —Suzanne Blake

Northeast unlikely to see spike despite reopening, Dr. Scott Gottlieb says

Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the FDA
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

10:34 a.m. ET — With New York City moving its next phase of reopening, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says the city and region are unlikely to see a major spike in new cases.

Some states mostly in the South and West that reopened early — before they had driven spread down to a contained level and before they had the necessary testing and tracing infrastructure in place — have seen major resurgences in infection over the past couple of weeks.

"We'll see an increase in cases, but we're reopening against a much different backdrop," Gottlieb said on "Squawk Box." "So I wouldn't expect to see the big increases that they're seeing in the Southeast and the South here when we reopen."

Gottlieb said that because so many people were initially infected in New York City and the tri-state region, a large portion of the population likely has some level of immunity against the virus already. That will help limit spread, Gottlieb added. —William Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic-testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina.

Minnesota Timberwolves want to increase social awareness with NBA jersey patch opening

10:27 a.m. ET — The Minnesota Timberwolves' season is officially ended, and the team is now looking to turn the page on the 2019-20 season, and the transition will include a change to the team jerseys. The Timberwolves' NBA jersey patch partnership with tech company Fitbit has expired, and the team is looking to add a new corporate sponsor that aligns with its renewed mission of combating racism and social inequality.

Timberwolves COO Ryan Tanke told CNBC the club is seeking a company that will help "create impact in our community" and "be a champion for social advancement" as the Minnesota community continues to heal following the death of George Floyd.

The Timberwolves have been one of the most hit organizations throughout the sports industry since March 12, when sports halted due to Covid-19. Timberwolves star center Karl-Anthony Towns' mother, Jacqueline, died on April 13 due to Covid-19. Tanke said both events are "critically important," adding Floyd's murder "unlocked for us this chance to be a vocal leader with Minneapolis being the epicenter of this." —Jabari Young

Gilead to test easier-to-administer form of coronavirus drug

10:17 a.m. ET — Gilead Sciences announced it is looking to test an inhaled version of remdesivir, the antiviral drug that has shown to be modestly beneficial for people hospitalized with Covid-19.

Remdesivir is administered intravenously. The company told investors earlier this year that it was looking to develop easier-to-administer versions of the drug, including an inhaled version. It will administer the drug through a nebulizer, a delivery device that can turn liquid medicines into mist. The drug can't be administered in pill form because its chemical makeup would impact the liver, the company noted.

The company will screen healthy volunteers this week for the early-stage trial and hope to begin studies in patients with Covid-19 in August. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.

Grocery stores look to robots, salad kiosks and more to revive prepared food

Texas grocer Central Market turned salad bars and hot bars into packaged food displays during the pandemic.
Source: Central Market

8:53 a.m. ET — The idea of sharing a serving spoon with strangers at a salad bar or hot bar has quickly fallen from favor during the pandemic, and grocers are looking for new ways to revive prepared food.

At Publix, an employee in a mask and gloves dishes out each item at the former self-serve food bars. Wegmans moved hummus and olives behind the cheese counter. And at H-E-B, some coolers carry packaged entrees from local restaurants.

For some companies, the decline of the salad bar has created new opportunities. California-based Chowbotics is selling its foodservice robot, which can hold up to 22 ingredients, to grocers. Restaurant franchise Saladworks recently signed a deal to open staffed salad kiosks inside of more grocery stores. —Melissa Repko

U.K. downgrades coronavirus threat level

8:20 a.m. ET — Chief medical officers in the U.K. lowered the nation's threat level around Covid-19 from "high or rising exponentially" to a benchmark of "general circulation," Reuters reported. 

Health officials noted that the pandemic is far from over and that localized outbreaks are likely to continue, Reuters reported, but cited the steady decrease in Covid-19 cases in making the change.

The U.K. had been under threat level four, "transmission is high or rising exponentially," since mid-May. The U.K. is one of the hardest hit countries in the world with more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths, according to official data. —Alex Harring

Infection found at PepsiCo China factory, spurring production suspension 

8:10 a.m. — PepsiCo China is halting production at one of its factories in Beijing in the Daxing district after at least one employee tested positive for Covid-19, the company said Sunday, according to Reuters.

PepsiCo China director of corporate affairs Fan Zhimin said operations halted as soon as the first case was confirmed on June 15, Reuters reports.

Pang Xinghuo, a senior official for the Beijing disease control authority, said eight people at the Daxing factory tested positive, the news service said. —Suzanne Blake

South Korea fears it is battling 'second wave' 

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant on the street to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at a residential area in Seoul on March 9, 2020.
Jung Yeon-Je | AFP | Getty Images

7:26 a.m. ET — Health authorities in South Korea said for the first time on Monday that the country is experiencing a "second wave" of coronavirus infections around the capital Seoul. 

On Monday, the director of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jeong Eun-kyeong said a holiday in early May marked the beginning of a "second wave" of cases in the greater Seoul area, Reuters reported. 

"In the metropolitan area, we believe that the first wave was from March to April as well as February to March," Jeong said at a news briefing, according to Reuters. "Then we see that the second wave which was triggered by the May holiday has been going on."

South Korea has 12,438 confirmed cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University, and has reported 280 deaths. —Holly Ellyatt

WHO reports record single-day spike in cases globally

Gravediggers carry the coffin of Avelino Fernandes Filho, 74, during his funeral who passed away from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 18, 2020.
Ricardo Moraes | Reuters

7:21 a.m. ET — The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase of coronavirus cases around the world since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China more than six months ago. 

The United Nations agency said more than 183,000 new cases were reported on Sunday. Brazil was the biggest contributor, reporting 54,771 new cases. The U.S. tallied 36,617 new cases. 

On Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the pandemic has entered a "new and dangerous phase," as the spread of the virus continues to accelerate in new communities and resurge in some that had already been hit hard.

"Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies," he said. "But the virus is still spreading fast. It is still deadly and most people are still susceptible." 

The coronavirus has now infected more than 8,970,977 people around the world and killed at least 468,589 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. —Will Feuer